Thursday, December 6, 2012
Oba village, early 1800’s. (fictional excerpt)
It was very late in the night and all that could be heard was the intermittent thunder & the noise of the rain clattering on the dense vegetation & the muddy soil beneath. It had been raining for most of the day & the intensity of the rainfall hadnt reduced, as claypots (that are usually kept outside during rains, by the village women), were long over-flowing with the rain water.
The weather was cool & chilly & at this time of the night, most of the lamps in the huts had been put out, as everyone had gone to sleep (more-so, by the sleep inducing weather of the night). But one particular hut still had its lantern on, & in it was a woman sitting pensively on the edge of her bed. Aprehension was evident in her eyes and she was oblivious to the fact that the little child sleeping in her laps was precariously perched……& GBAM!!!, the child hit the floor, & both mother & child looked at each other (as both were suddenly awakened to consciousness), then slowly & gradually increasing in decibels, the child let out her cry. “Ndoo o….ndoo nwa m, ndoo” (sorry my child,…sorry); those were the words from the mother in an effort to placate the crying baby. The mother’s name is Enyidiya & the baby she was carrying, Adaora. Enyidiya was arguably the prettiest woman in the whole village of Oba. She was tall, dark & quite slim. She had a narrow waist & a curvy figure, and her eyes were like little cat eyes that lit up when she revealed her lovely dentition (her teeth were in line and her canine teeth only on the upper row, slightly longer than the rest). She was indeed beautiful. Were it not for the laws of the land that the Igwe (king) must have a daughter of royal blood as his first wife, he would have happily taken Enyidiya as his queen. But Enyidiya was far from Royal blood. She was the only daughter (& only child) of her mother Mgborie who was married to the late,Ikwu, (a village palm-wine tapper). Even though Mgborie was in no position to refuse the Igwe the hand of her daughter in marriage, she quietly wished her daughter to marry someone else, that wasn’t polygamous, for Enyidiya was all that she has, & she wanted for her to be loved & well catered for by her husband. She knew that by the next new yam festival, the Igwe would most likely come for Enyidiya’s hand in marriage as his 2nd wife & she also knew that the current “lolo” (queen of the land), would spite Enyidiya out of jealousy & envy for her ravishing beauty.
Enyidiya was a girl without any airs about her, very humble & dutiful (for it was how her mother raised her) & this furthermore strenghtened the resolve of the mother to find her a suitable husband before the next new yam festival (when the Igwe would choose another wife). She approached the (then) Ezemuo (high priest of the Oracle), explained her situation, made him the offer to marry her daughter & gave him the condition (that he wasn’t to marry another wife). The Ezemuo was a young robust man. He wasn’t anything to talk about in the looks department, but he had a good heart & was revered by the people. Of course he was aware of the beautiful Enyidiya & after hearing Mgborie out, he understood her worries & agreed to her conditions, in the next 9 market days the plans for the marriage were underway & by the 10th market day, they were married, & so it became that Enyidiya & Ezemuo Okarammadu became man & wife.
On this night though, it wasn’t her history that was heavy on the mind of Adaora, (nor was it her unrelenting rain), but another fear pinched silently at her heart.